Illustrator Outline Problem

About a month ago, a classmate of mine had pointed out that illustrator sometimes had a mysterious hairline around shapes of objects, even when there wasn’t a border or outline defined on the shape. Furthermore, this outline when exported out into raster format, retained and translated that outline into the pixels of the image!

See the following image close up to see what is happening. Also described here some six years ago but with no solution.

Well as you can see in the image, the problem has to do with the CYMK specifically, and the depth of the colour values for not only K, but cyan, yellow and magenta as well.

For some reason illustrator puts a thin outline around the image.

I really don’t know know if this was planned by Adobe, but I do know how to fix it – simply Set all CMYK values to 100%, or if you want, set all of the values of C, M & Y to those of the background colour, and let the K (black) fill the rest of the shape as the black normally.

Interac goes Social, Show Some Appreciation!

Interac goes Social, Show Some Appreciation!: I don’t personally know a single Canadian that doesn’t use Interac. From that big purchase at department store to the small coffee at Tim Hortons, Canadians may at times, take for granted the convenienc…

Interac goes Social, Show Some Appreciation!:

Interac LogoI don’t personally know a single Canadian that doesn’t use Interac. From that big purchase at department store to the small coffee at Tim Hortons, Canadians may at times, take for granted the convenience behind our electronic debit system.

With that said, Interac just launched their Facebook and Twitter profiles today.

The reason why I am posting this, is because I launched it for them!

While working at Navgator, I was tasked with building their social media strategy and I had the pleasure of working with their communications team to create a couple different mockups and ideas for launching a fiscally fit themed launch.

I admit my surprise that they didn’t have social media profiles up on Facebook or Twitter earlier.

I encourage everyone to go “spend” some time, thank Interac for being a great service, view their new TV commercial with their lovable Interac Truck, and enter into their “Financially Fit Contest” for a chance to win a cash prize!

Lastly don’t forget to share their Facebook page with your friends or follow them on Twitter!

Gap's New Rebrand

When I visited the Gap website this morning for the first time, I was appaled at the entire roll out (or lack thereof) of their brand across all sources: gap.com (old favicon still displayed on the address bar), wikipedia (not even updated), twitter account (not updated), facebook profile (not updated).

It makes me wonder if this is forgery and/or the gap.com website got hacked.

When companies rebrand themselves as drastically as Gap just has, it leaves the customers questioning their identification with the old brand and how they should adopt the new brand, often leading to severe and negative reactions and counter-loyalty.

The company that has been branding the Gap account for as long as I can remember is the ever-present Laird & Partners. They have nothing on their website about the new rebrand either on their website.

As for my initial reaction, my exact sentiments are shared with what TAXI has to say about it.

Not to mention what many other people think as well:

https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23gap

PHP GD Sharpening, Photoshop-style

So I have been working on my thumbnail image sharpening script .. and I am happy to show some MAJOR progress. Go here:

Testbed Image Sharpening

I hope that you can see the difference in detail from the first image to the second. The first image is blurry and the second is sharper.

When all image editing programs take a large image and shrink the image down, what happens is some of the data gets cut out and approximated, occurring in a blurry image.

More intuitive programs like Adobe Photoshop will incorporate better approximation algorithms, but in most cases, still don’t do the image justice.
So the next step is to use a sharpening filter to fine tune the amount of detail within the image. These sharpening filters are based on real-world darkroom techniques that are used by photographers to enhance their photographs. I’m not going to go into detail about how photographers go into the process of sharpening their images, and further how a computer can reproduce the exact same process digitally.

In the end you have a product that removes the blurriness and adds a little detail to the resized image.

[UPDATE] I have now taken what I understand from this script and managed to embed it into the NextGEN Gallery Plugin built for WordPress, which I used in my client’s website for his image gallery of his art pieces online.

All of the images upload to the gallery, resize, and then sharpen based on the settings in the admin.

I have passed along the code to the creator of NextGEN Gallery and hopefully he will include it to the next version that comes out!

Photoshop Tip: Reverse Layers

I’ve come to use this nifty little keyboard shortcut combination for Reverse Layers within Adobe Photoshop CS or greater. And, it’s a safe key-combination to use from the default set.

  1. Open up your Keyboard Shortcuts Panel.
  2. Navigate to the Layer menu.
  3. Further down to the Arrange submenu
  4. Further-still down to the Reverse option
  5. Bind the key-combination (MAC:) COMMAND+SHIFT+r (PC:) CTRL+SHIFT+r to this option

Now select a group of layers in your layers palette. Hit your new keyboard shortcut, and voila! Layers reversed.

Photoshop Tip: Keep Rulers 'Off' When Possible

When I work in Photoshop I usually have my screen mode set full screen, so that I can use my screen to it’s maximum potential and edit artwork that bleeds off the edges of the document area.

I recently turned off my rulers (PC: CTRL+r MAC: Command+r) for even further maximum viewing area, and noticed that grabbing the page and moving it around was much smoother!

I think the rendering of the measurement numbers and the scaling marks on the rulers in photoshop take some GPU or CPU rendering power away. Whenever I have the rulers on, it just seems to make the redraw of the entire window sluggish and choppy when I manipulate the document.

I’m leaving rulers off from now on.